With the rise in the popularity of cryptocurrencies, there has also been a marked rise in cryptocurrency related crime. A recent report indicates that a cryptocurrency malware is on the rise which alters the contents on the clipboard and replaces copied cryptocurrency wallet addresses with a different one. Over 2.3 Million wallet addresses are potentially at risk.
This report comes via Bleeping Computer, which points out that users must double-check the address they are transferring their currencies to before making the transfer. This malware basically detects any time a cryptocurrency wallet is copied on to the clipboard - and replaces it with its own wallet address. Many a times users do not double-check the wallet address and simply copy and paste them. This malware exploits these kinds of users and all their cryptocurrencies end up being transferred to the malware developer.
The most shocking part of this report is that over 2.3 Million wallet addresses are being monitored by this malware - and upon detection of any of them, it would immediately replace it with one of its own - causing the sender to lose all their money. Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible in nature and money once sent cannot be recovered back.
Lawrence Abrahams, the founder of Bleeping Computer, which released this security report commented on this rising threat of cryptocurrency clipboard malware, stating that:
“This type of malware, called CryptoCurrency Clipboard Hijackers, works by monitoring the Windows clipboard for cryptocurrency addresses, and if one is detected, will swap it out with an address that they control. Therefore it is important to always have an updated antivirus solution installed to protect you from these types of threats. It is also very important that all cryptocurrency users to double-check any addresses that they are sending cryptocoins to before they actually send them”
Lawrence also pointed out how this malware spreads, stating that when this malware gets installed in your PC, it creates a DLL file, which will be saved in the Windows Temp folder. Moveover, it would then create an autorun file named Direct X 11 and would run it on startup, which executes the DLL file, which is actually a clipboard hijacking malware.
Beware of Crypto Crimes
Cryptocurrency related crimes are rising with every passing day. Crypto-crime is a broad term which includes serious offences such as hacking a cryptocurrency exchange to something as petty as introducing a script in a website which mines for cryptocurrencies using the processing power of the visitors of the website (cryptojacking). However, there are a number of other times of cryptocurrency crimes as well - including the likes of ponzi schemes and ICO exit scams.
Statistics point out that over a Billion dollars have already been lost this year to cryptocurrency related crime. Cryptocurrency-related crime is on the rise and international organizations and cops from across the world have begun to take notice of this fact. Parliaments across the world are discussing regulations on cryptocurrencies as well as educating citizens about the dangers and how to stay protected. For now, investors and traders need to be aware and follow all the safety protocols to remain protected.